not power. . . .
it is light.”
-- Benjamin Franklin
I was blessed to serve for many years as an
award-winning disaster relief specialist, turn-around management
expert and Community Economic Development official for the US
Department of Housing and Urban Development. I served under 5 US
Presidents with assignments in Mississippi, Missouri, Virginia,
Ohio, Detroit, Chicago and Kankakee, Illinois. It was a very sad
disappointment to me when I realized that the US political agenda
was driven by, if not controlled by special interests, regardless of
which party was in power.
In the far distant past I was politically affiliated, first at the
age of 18 with the Young Republicans Party in the then Democratic
Mississippi Delta (to support the campaign of a wonderful man who
had essentially adopted me after my Father died.) Later in my 20's I
registered as a Democrat and in my 30's I began to consider myself
an Independent. While I have not been active in politics at all for
decades (except for placing a Draft Colin Powell bumper sticker on
my car), I have
not been able to avoid all the toxicity in the current campaigns for
the honor and privilege of serving as President of the United States
As a Community Economic Development specialist my focus
is on helping individuals, organizations and communities realize and
actualize their Ultimate Potential. I also hold a vision of A
United State of Americans and am helping establish The Foundation
for A United State of Americans to help Fulfill the Ultimate
Destiny of the USA, which by the way Benjamin Franklin said was
not power but LIGHT!
Over the past few months of constant coverage of
many candidates including (but not limited to) Donald Trump saying things that I personally find to be ignorant and
arrogant, a few phrases and ideas for domain names came to mind
such as www.ignorarrogant.com and www.ignorarrogance.com. Lately as
some world-leaders have expressed concerns about the possibility
that Mr. Trump may become President, I was reminded of the book
The Ugly American first published in 1958. I
began to wonder:
If Elected Would "The Donald"
Be A Great President or
One recent morning as I was checking
availability of domain names, those thoughts led me to buy the
ones that had popped into my head. As I checked out of
the cart to buy them, I considered for the first time ever paying extra for
the added security of Private Domain Registration! That was
shocking to me because I realized it was because I was afraid of Donald Trump! After
seeing how he viciously attacks ANYONE and EVERYONE who says
anything negative about him, I was actually afraid of what he might
do to me even though I am only an individual private citizen exercising my First Amendment Rights. After contemplating the feelings and emotions of fear of what might
happen if I went ahead and bought the domain names and actually did
anything with them, I did so but I selected the
Private Doman Registration. Then after still continuing to feel fearful of what a
candidate for the highest office in our Nation might do to me, I
realized that I had to take a stand and had to share how I felt
and encourage more civil and solutions oriented conversation in the
Please note that I am not supporting or working against any
political party or individual candidate! What I AM FOR
and am seeking is any possible way to encourage, help facilitate and
"stand-up" for a more positive, civil and solutions oriented
dialogue in the 2016 Presidential campaigns AND throughout every
level of government in the United States. I love the JFK quote above
and share the sentiment that each of us and every elected national
official should remember we are first an American, then affiliated
with a political party.
In my work as a community organizer and community economic
development specialist, I have
conducted visioning, planning and strategic planning exercises for
companies, non-profit organizations and communities. Two of the main questions
we usually include and the top three answers to each one revealed
through The Three Round Method of
(developed by the National Center for Community Education and the CS
are provided below:
(1)What are the greatest problems affecting the quality
of life in the community?
Inadequate citizen involvement in community affairs.
Inadequate leadership throughout government.
Lack of community unity and cooperation and collaboration.
(2)What corrective measures can be taken to address
Develop more community-based programs
Expand church and community involvement.
Provide access to resources that will enhance self-help,
empowerment and capacity building for individuals and
In response to those results, several successful Community
Resource Centers have been established and
Stewardheirship, Inc and
University are launching the
Expanding the Circle of Success
help establish a network of locally initiated non-profit
CAN DO! Community Economic Development Empowerment Resource Centers.
Click Here for a
few excerpts from newspaper articles about training
programs produced by CAN DO! and the Community Development
Resource Center and visit
www.candoresourcecenter.com. As I reflect on the current
state of affairs at the local, State and National levels, it
seems to me that the same questions and answers are especially
"We can’t solve problems at the level of thinking
where we created them." -- Albert Einstein
During one of the classes in the 1990-1992 Community
Economic Development Master’s program at Southern New
Hampshire University, we spent time discussing the root
causes of the problems that threaten our society. We
developed the following list:
The me generation
Getting away from God Lack of spirituality Lack of common vision Absence of wisdom Focus on accumulation versus circulation Spiritual and cultural disintegration and the
Lack of an appropriate value system and ways to
The following month we considered potential solutions to
these problems by reflecting on the values of community
economic development which we described as including:
Spiritual underpinning, a sense of oneness
Application of cooperative principles A focus on human development along with community
Retention of wealth in the neighborhoods Valuing community and the larger society
Consideration and appreciation of multicultural
differences in religion, values perspectives and
communication and Enabling people and communities to empower
We defined the role of CED as an educational process to help
people become empowered and connected with others, thereby
becoming the curative process. Through the information,
exercises and experiences we shared during the Master’s
program, participants all completed another upward spiral in
our lives and careers. We acquired skills and techniques and
access to resources that can transform our lives, our
organizations, our communities and our world.
Again as I look at the social, economic and environmental
challenges we face at the local, State, National AND global
levels, it seems to me that those root causes of the
problems and the potential solutions my CED classmates and
Identified 25 years ago are even more needed in these days.
In a recent workshop, we asked participants to
answer the following question:
global economic and environmental crises, what attitudes and
skills can help us apply more positive, creative, conscious
and sustainable approaches?”
are some of the answers we received
(that we have incorporated in our programs and that once
again seem relevant to the present situation in our
communities and Nation):
Awakening to our spiritual identity.
Realizing more of our inherent potential.
Harnessing our creative mind power.
Flowing our energy to solutions rather than problems.
Remembering who we really are and why we are here.
Fulfilling our life purposes and missions.
Making a difference and leaving a legacy.
Maintaining a positive mental attitude.
Loving, serving and blessing others.
Applying creative thinking and problem-solving.
Manifesting stewardship over the rich talents and treasures entrusted to us by God/Spirit/Source/Creator.
Our ultimate vision for America is seeing
(and helping) it fulfill its ultimate destiny as envisioned by
Ben Franklin and as inscribed on the Statue of Liberty. We
understand that is something like “Liberty, enlightening the
forthcoming book from
Universal Stewardheirship, Inc. suggests that
Foundational Principles upon which
we as a people and as citizens are
more significant and meaningful than any personal,
social, economic or political differences, beliefs,
opinions, STATES OF
mind, disagreements, or
divergent perspectives for as Benjamin Franklin
“The destiny of AMERICA
is not power, it is Light”.
The book presents a possible future vision of
a United State of Americans. It also issues an
invitation, a call
to action and a comprehensive
Strategic Implementation Matrix™
for establishing a network of CAN DO!
Community Economic Development Resource Centers
for Self-help, Empowerment and Capacity Building.
The Resource Centers will educate, equip and
enable individuals, organizations and communities to realize more of
their potential and expand their capacity to help
solve the social, economic and environmental
challenges we face together on what
referred to as SpaceShip Earth and "betterment
for 100% of humanity."
“Inherently, each one of us has the
substance within to achieve whatever our goals
and dreams define. What is missing from each of
us is the training, education, knowledge and
insight to utilize what we already have.” --
I believe America IS a great
Nation, and still the greatest Nation on the earth!
And YES of course, there are many ways we could work
better together to solve the social, economic and
environmental challenges we face as a Nation and as
a planet. I suggest that the questions we need
to be asking (and answering together) are:
(1) What IS RIGHT about
the United States of America?
(2) How can we work together to make it even BETTER?
"When a community and its people are empowered, they
have the capacity to articulate their needs; to identify
actions to solve those needs; and to mobilize and
organize resources in pursuit of commonly defined goals.
When the people of a community come together to
visualize and work together to achieve a common future,
they recognize that everyone--regardless of education,
job, race, age, or background--has something important
to contribute to personal and community empowerment.
Indeed, the greater the diversity of the participants,
the richer the vision and the more effective its
accomplishment" -- Lorraine Garkovich, University of
Loraine's visionary statement and the
inspiring words from the song
Earthby David Roth encompass our ultimate vision and mission of
fostering personal, community, national and global
transformation. We seek to accomplish that by providing expanded
access to state-of-the-art resources for
Development training while incorporating CED principles of Self-Help, Empowerment and
I love what Ernest Holmes had to say about
Love and Cooperation in business AND I am optimistic enough to
believe that it may also be possible for us to one day discover that
practicing Love, Cooperation, and Respect for divergent perspectives
and policies in our government might help us Fulfill the Ultimate
Destiny of the United States of America!
"To put the world in order, we
must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order;
to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and
to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right."
Nightingale, the “Dean of Motivation” and co-founder of
Nightingale-Conant (the World Leader in Personal
Development since 1960) told a story about a father who was trying to work who had a young son
who wanted to play. The father cut a picture of the world
out of a magazine and made it
into a jigsaw puzzle. He gave it to his son and told him
that they could play when he had put the puzzle back
The father, who had
imagined that it would take his son at least several minutes
to complete the task, was surprised when his son returned
almost instantly with the puzzle completed. When he
asked his son how he had managed to put it together so
quickly, his son answered: “It was easy Dad. There was a
picture of a man on the other side and when I put the
picture of the man together, the world was together too.”
The Community Economic
Development Benefit Corporation and and
University are fostering the realization of human potential
and helping “Expand the Circle of Success” to help people learn
how to learn, especially those who may have had limited
experience with development training materials. We are
helping these individuals learn how to put their own
“success puzzles” together. And just like the story about
the father and his son, as the individual pieces come
together for each person, the puzzle for the whole world
begins to come into focus.
Because we see a correlation with strategies for
enhancing opportunities for personal, community and national
development and empowerment, we want to share our vision
with you and invite your participation helping resolve our
personal, political and religious differences, and come
together to solve the challenges we face AND take advantage
of the rich opportunities that lie before us.
THEFoundational Principles upon which we as a
people and as citizens are UNITEDare far more significant and meaningful than
any personal, social, economic or political
differences, beliefs, opinions, STATES OF
mind, disagreements, or divergent
perspectives. As Benjamin Franklin said, “The
destiny of AMERICA is not power,
it is Light”, and the Statue of Liberty is named
ENLIGHTENING THE WORLD! The United State of Americans
Red, White, Black, Brown or
Yellow, We are all evolving human
beings. Rich, poor, some even
entrepreneur, We live and work in one
Christian, Jew, Buddhist,
Hindu, Muslim or other,
We are all spiritual beings
having a human experience. North, South, East, or West,
even in the US Territories, We move through space
together at thousands of
miles per hour.
Independents, or neither, We are all Americans first,
living together in One
Nation. Let us stand together united
and not let anything or
anyone divide us, As we remember our rich
legacy and fulfill our
A Declaration of Inner-Dependence
Once again we hold these truths to be
self-evident as we collectively remember, honor
and fulfill the ultimate destiny entrusted to us
as citizens of the United States of America, one
nation under God, with Life, Liberty, and
Happiness for all.
Our ultimate destiny as citizens is to actualize
our inherent potential, individually and
collectively, to help empower, enlighten and
evolve ourselves, our brothers and sisters and
the global community we share that Bucky Fuller
referred to as Spaceship Earth.
Our Founding Fathers and Mothers were inspired
by inner guidance to establish the foundation
upon which inner Wisdom and interdependence
could help foster the pursuit, and the
of Life, Liberty and Happiness for
The ultimate destiny of the United States of
America is to enlighten, empower and elevate our
consciousness to the realization that we are one
people, living in one global community, with
only one future that we are destined to
Let us come together in spite of any political, geographic,
religious or cultural differences and contribute our time and
energies toward further evolution of a "more perfect union" as the
Greatest Nation on Earth of the people, for the people and by the
people. Perhaps we can benefit from Arthur Morgan's
description of The Great Community and apply that to The Greatest
The Great Community by Arthur Morgan
by Charles Betterton)
"Where there is no vision, the people
(and or the Nation)
perish.' So it is with
Americans have had no great expectations of theirs, and have had no
picture of what a great community
or Great Nation might be like. The hope of the
small town has been, not to be a great community, but to become a
city. Seeing our communities as of little importance, we have
neglected them, robbed them, and fled from them. Only as we come to see them as the sources of population and of
national character and culture, and as possible centers of interest
and opportunity, will our young people choose them for their life
careers. Economic and social security are not enough. If a community
is to hold its boys and girls, building with them a great community,
it must be to them a place of significance and of high adventure.
Because economic security is so generally lacking, many have felt
that if a whole community should be economically secure, other
limitations would disappear and the good community would emerge. Yet
often where economic security has existed the community has been
uninteresting, if not banal, and young people have fled from it.
Other communities, with the idea that education is the magic key
have staked their hopes on schools and colleges, only to find their
young people driven from home
and burdened with student loan debt
to seek careers.
There have been many
ethically fine communities in which nearly every family lived in a
spirit of good will.
Believing that fine human relationships is the one essential of a
good community, they rested on their fortunate condition. Young
people of such communities, finding few home opportunities for
adequate careers, and lacking a vision of the Great Community, left
for more promising fields. In this manner, many fine communities
have been almost depopulated.
The Greatest handicap to human progress has been a partial view of
life. When people set their hearts on achieving some particular
excellence, their success has sometimes been remarkable, but the
resulting lopsided development has often resulted in social
All-round growth may be slower and less spectacular, but is more
enduring. That is true of communities as of people. The Great
Community and Great Nation
must be built on a full all-round view of life and its
The Great Community and Great Nation
will achieve a living unity. It will not be just
an aggregation of individuals,
congregations, firms, cliques, and interests. Holding that 'that
which unites us is greater than that
separates us,' it will develop unity of outlook, purpose, and
program without thwarting individual or group autonomy. Its various
organizations will not tear the community or Nation apart to advance
themselves or their political party, but will
agencies of an enlarging and unifying community life and fulfillment of the Ultimate Destiny for the United States of
Arthur Morgan wrote The Small Community and The Great
Community in the 1940's. He founded Community Service,
and served as President of Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
How can we overcome our differences and
What do you believe is The Ultimate
Destiny of the USA!
How would you like to help "Make it so" as
Captain Picard would say?
As you think
about Americans (still alive or not) who have demonstrated a
love of country ahead of personal or political interests,
dedicated their lives and or careers to public service and who
helped promote cooperation, collaboration and effective
communication, who would you recommend for The United State of
Americans Hall of Fame Award?
Would you like to learn about how "cause-oriented" companies (based
on the new Benefit Corporation model, Community Economic
Development Principles and the 4Ps of Purpose, People, Planet
and Profitability) could generate up to a million dollars a year
through the Equity Crowd Financing provisions of the JOBS Act
AND help make America better, stronger and more prosperous for
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